Minnesota Timberwolves v Boston Celtics

Celtics, Clippers restart Doc Rivers-Kevin Garnett trades talks at Chris Paul’s wish


Update (6:40 p.m.): Chris Paul is the catalyst for trade talks resuming. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

Clippers management believed Boston would eventually come back to them out of a belief that the Celtics-Rivers relationship would be difficult to repair, but league sources told Y! Sports that Paul’s desire to play for Rivers – and with Garnett – has been a significant motivator for Los Angeles.

6:20 p.m.: When reports emerged yesterday that the Clippers-Celtics trade talks centered on Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett had ended, Kurt warned the deal wasn’t necessarily dead.

Well, the deal isn’t necessarily dead.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

Where did we leave off before the Clippers ended the discussion (and putting themselves in position to look foolish now by asking to restart it)?

The Celtics wanted DeAndre Jordan and two first-round picks. The Clippers were willing to trade Jordan and one first-round pick.

This doesn’t seem like an impossible gap to bridge. Maybe the Celtics accept a second-round pick or two instead of the second first-round pick. Maybe the Celtics accept tighter protections on the first-round picks. Or maybe the Celtics get both first-rounders but send Los Angeles a second-rounder. There are a lot of possibilities.

There’s also plenty of time to sort this out.

The Celtics can buy out Paul Pierce’s $15,333,334 contract for the 2013-14 season before July 1 for just $5 million. Until Boston commits to a decision on Pierce, the relevant factors for a trade with Los Angeles don’t really change.

The Clippers know this, and if they want Rivers and Garnett, they can wait to hire a head coach until Pierce’s fate is determined. That’s why Los Angeles isn’t acting as foolishly as it looks.

Until the Clippers hire another coach or the Celtics handle final year of Pierce’s contract, it’s difficult to believe this trade will truly die.

Chris Paul, after breaking finger, intends to play in Clippers preseason game tomorrow

Chris Paul
Leave a comment

Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.

The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.

Here’s confirmation.

Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.

Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.

Report: David Lee, Tyler Zeller in line to start for Celtics; Jared Sullinger, Jonas Jerebko out of rotation

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 08: David Lee of Boston Celtics attacks during the friendlies of the NBA Global Games 2015 basketball match between Real Madrid and Boston Celtics at Barclaycard Center on October 8, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.

It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:

it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.

That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.

Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.

Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.

I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.

This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.